Simon Murray’s life revolves around football, his friends Fran and Roger, organizing the Triple F Film Festival, with his paranoid assistant Nyssa and his cat Maggie, but especially football, even if his favorite team is not one of the most triumphant ones of the Australian Football League. But excentric Simon is loyal to his team and cheers for it, whenever it is on the field. But that won’t keep him from defending a great player of another team, if he gets insulted for things, he is not at a fault for. So he speaks up in defense of injured Footballer Declan Tyler at a party. Simon did nothing wrong, still he wants the floor to open up, when he notices the man he defended is standing right behind him. Declan Tyler had a hard time this season. He got hurt and couldn’t play, the press is less than favorable to the injured player and he just can’t feel at home in Tasmania with his new team. So Simon Murrays defense is like a balm to his wounds and he wants to get to know him.
Seeking Simon out, ends in a fiery Make Out Session and Simon is caught up in a whirlwind of feelings and the complications of dating a closeted celibrity. But Simon is a pessimist and always paints everything bleaker than it is and Declan is a person, who always runs when he has to face conflict or problems. Also, both men are very tenacious. And then their relationship makes the news. Is their new love strong enough, to stay afloat in the waves the coming out of a sports star makes?
Tigers & Devils by Sean Kennedy is the love story of artsy, excentric Simon Murray and Australian Football Star Declan Tyler. Two men as different as sun and moon, who fall in love despite Simons cynism and not so polite ways and Declans busy life as a celibrity, who doesn’t want to leave the closet. They just click! But even so, there is more than one bump in the road and both have to learn, that you have to jump over your own shadow, for a relationship to work. Luckily for Simon, there are his friends Fran and Roger, who always tell him, what they think, even if Simon doesn’t always want to hear it.
This makes for some hilarious dialogues, but also for some wisdom everyone can apply to themselves. The importance of communication, to say what you need and want, that you can’t always hide behind your walls and expect other people to break them down, but sometimes have to build a door yourself and that you have to hear other people out, because your own conclusions may not be right.
I really liked how Sean Kennedy wrapped the lessons his characters had to learn in a humorous package, so that even if Simon had to live trough more than one emotional roller coaster ride, it never got too heavy or depressing for the reader. Simons way to phrase his thoughts and tell his story, kept me smiling most of the time (even if I wanted to yell at him or Declan more than once, for their mile wide stubborn streak). Only in some parts, you really felt the sadness and worry and there it fit. It never felt overdone, just right for the situation. What I also loved, was that the book was a story about friendship as much as about love. Fran, Roger, Nyssa and Declans friends never were denied room and it was shown, how important they are for the Main Characters and what big part they play in their lives. What I also liked about Sean Kennedys writing, that he stayed away from clichés, so I could like Fran and Nyssa and not just roll my eyes about them. They felt real. And Rogers and Simons way of communicating – yep, it definitely rang true. 😉
What Tigers & Devils is not, is an erotica. But the book doesn’t need the steamy sex scenes. It wouldn’t fit with Simons way of telling us Declans and his story. And even if you are denied a more NC-17 peak behind their bedroom door, you can feel the attraction between them and there is definitly some sexual tension between the lines. You just have to “listen” to Simon and how he talks about his and Declans evenings (or days).
I recommend Tigers & Devils if you look for a humorous book, with characters that ring true and who concentrates more on the growing of a relationship and true friendship, than passionate sex scenes.
I look forward to read the sequels and free shorts the author published.
More about Tigers & Devils and the author, you can find here: Sean Kennedy<-Click!
You can get the book via Dreamspinner Press here: Tigers & Devils<-Click!
or at Amazon.de here: Tigers & Devils<-Click!
Information via Dreamspinner Press:
Cover Artist: Catt Ford